February 29, 2012 nº 1,148 - Vol. 10


"A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can."

Michel de Montaigne

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  • Top News

Sarkozy orders new genocide law

Sarkozy has ordered his government to draft a new law punishing denial of the Armenian genocide after a top court struck down a previous bill. The Constitutional Council earlier ruled the law backed by Sarkozy infringed on freedom of expression. The bill, which covers the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I, was passed by both houses of the French parliament. Turkey has welcomed the ruling. The legislation had strained relations between the two countries. Noting the "great disappointment and profound sadness" of the law's backers, Sarkozy's office wrote in a statement: "The President of the Republic considers that denial is intolerable and must therefore be punished. He has asked the government to prepare a new draft taking into account the decision of the Constitutional Council."

EU warning on energy competition

The European Commission has warned eight countries to increase energy competition or face legal action at the ECJ - European Court of Justice. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia and Estonia have so far failed to comply with EU rules. The commission demands countries separate the production of electricity or gas from its distribution to allow more competition. States have until 3 March to comply. The changes are designed to allow consumers greater choice of energy supplier, as in theory, any company could buy electricity and gas on the wholesale market and sell it to consumers and to strengthen national regulators.

Israel won't warn US before Iran strike

Israeli officials say they won't warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions. The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and Capitol Hill.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Artist admits lying over Obama poster image - click here.

2 - HSBC says it may face criminal charges for transactions - click here.

3 - UN says Syria constitutional referendum meaningless while violence continues - click here.

4 - Charlotte Church wins £600,000 hacking damages - click here.

5 - No news is good news for BP - click here.

6 - And the nominees for outstanding performance in the service of human rights are... - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China to overhaul 'threatening' one-child slogans

China is to overhaul the sometimes threatening slogans used to enforce its one-child policy, the authorities have announced. Details of the project were published in the Chinese communist party newspaper, the People's Daily. State media blamed local officials for coming up with phrases such as, "If you don't get sterilized, your house will be demolished". They said they would be replaced by friendlier expressions. But they insisted that the one-child policy itself would not change.

China reforms needed to sustain growth

China needs to embrace fundamental free-market reforms if its economy is to continue to grow at the "impressive" pace of the past three decades, the World Bank has said. The country had reached a "turning point" and needed to reform a growth model that was "unsustainable". The role of government and state enterprises needed redefining, it said. But even if growth slows, China was likely to become the world's largest economy before 2030, the bank added.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Banca

El banco holandés Rabobank tiene el interés de asociarse con Agrobanco del Perú para otorgar créditos a los pequeños agricultores del país. Para avanzar las conversaciones en ese ámbito llegará el 27 de febrero a Lima Gerard Van Empel, managing director del Rabo Development, entidad que forma parte del Grupo Rabobank . En Lima sostendrá reuniones con el ministro de Agricultura, Luis Ginocchio, con el objetivo de lograr un acuerdo estratégico para repotenciar el Agrobanco, el que se vería beneficiado con la inyección de capital por US$ 100 mlls. Esta asociación permitirá a los pequeños agricultores recibir capacitación en tecnologías de punta y tener la posibilidad de lograr recursos en el mercado de capitales a bajas tasas de interés ..

Negocios

La multinacional británica BG Group puso en venta el 20% de su participación en el terminal GNL Quintero, en Chile, en una operación que será liderada por Santander GBM - Global Banking & Markets. La empresa tiene el 40% del terminal, el otro 60% se lo dividen en partes iguales Enap, Endesa y Metrogas. (Presione aquí)

Extradición

Bajo el acuerdo marco firmado en 2011, Bolivia y Estados Unidos realizaron la primera reunión en su proceso de acercamiento. Un tema de la agenda es la extradición del expresidente Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, requerido por la justicia boliviana por el caso Octubre 2003. Un alto comisionado esta en el país andino para revisar los acuerdos. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

S&P downgrades Greek debt again

Rating agency Standard & Poor's has classified Greek debt as in "selective default" following the deal it made with creditors to reduce its debts. S&P says the terms of that deal triggered the latest downgrade. Greek debt already had a "junk" grade rating from the agency. Separately, the European Central Bank said it was suspending the eligibility of Greek bonds as collateral for loans to commercial banks. It said this would run until mid-March.

Irish to vote on EU fiscal treaty

The Republic of Ireland is to hold a referendum on Europe's new fiscal treaty. The prime Minister, Enda Kenny, said it was in Ireland's national interest that the treaty be approved and he was confident the referendum would be passed. Last month, Kenny joined 24 other EU states in agreeing the pact for stricter budget discipline. The government had sought advice from the attorney general as to whether a referendum was necessary. The cabinet was told on Tuesday that a referendum was required to ratify it.

Syria voters approve new constitution

Over 80 percent of voters in Syria have voted to approve the new Syrian constitution, officials said Monday. The proposed constitution will impose term limits on the president as well as provide for a multi-party system. However, the term limits will theoretically begin once the constitution passes, meaning President Bashar al-Assad's previous time in office will not be counted against the term limits. Sunday's referendum in which Syrians has been called a "farce" by Western leaders and has been condemned as a "sham vote" which cannot be a way of resolving the violence taking place in Syria. Syrian state television announced the approval, along with a report of 57.4 percent voter turnout.

Google 'fails to meet EU rules' on new privacy policy

Google's new privacy policy may violate the European Union's data protection laws, according to the French data regulator. The search giant plans to unify 60 different privacy policies across its products from 1 March. But EU regulators had urged a "pause" so they could analyze the changes. The French regulator, CNIL, said that the policy "raises deep concerns" and that it fails to meet the needs of the European Data Protection Directive. The European Commission recently set out plans for new pan-European data protection rules.

BP 'close to deal' on Gulf oil spill

A partial settlement of claims against BP for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in the US is very close. The agreement would be between BP and individuals and companies seeking compensation. BP is yet to comment. One lawyer said a deal between BP and US federal and state governments was not close, and talks had halted.

Spain high court acquits judge Garzon in abuse of power case

The Spanish Supreme Court in a 6-1 decision acquitted Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon Monday of abuse of power charges. Garzon was charged with abusing power by ordering the exhumation of 19 mass graves in Spain in order to assemble a definitive national registry of Civil War victims, despite a 1977 law that provides amnesty for Franco-era crimes. Garzon testified in the trial last month, denying that his investigation was politically motivated, stating that he was seeking justice for the victims of the alleged crimes, and rejecting the idea that the 1977 amnesty law covered widespread human rights abuses.

Yahoo warns Facebook of a potential patent fight

Yahoo is seeking to force Facebook into licensing 10 to 20 patents over technologies that include advertising, the personalization of Web sites, social networking and messaging, people briefed on the matter said.

Monsanto wins Pioneer appeal of patent dispute

The Federal Circuit Appeals Court upheld a ruling that said Monsanto's patent claims on transgenic corn were senior to its rival's.

Motorola can't enforce standard-essential patents against Apple in Germany while appeal is pending

Apple scored a breakthrough court victory against Motorola. Its importance can hardly be overstated. This is so huge that it even begs the question of whether Google's strategy for its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility has failed before the deal is even formally closed (they're still waiting for some regulatory approvals). The Karlsruhe Higher Court decided that Motorola Mobility is barred from further enforcement of its standard-essential patent injunction against Apple in Germany at least for the duration of the ongoing appeal, which I believe will take a year, if not more. And while the decision is only a summary and preliminary decision that MMI could overturn during the course of the full-blown appellate proceedings, this indicates that Apple's appeal is highly likely to succeed -- and even if it didn't, Apple could realistically resolve the problem with limited additional concessions. The appeals court summarily held that Apple has made an amended proposal for taking a license to MMI's patents on FRAND terms that should be acceptable to MMI, turning any further attempts to ban Apple's iPhone and iPad products into a violation of applicable antitrust law.

Central America drug threat grows

Alarming levels of drug-related violence in Central America is posing a threat to the region's security, the UN's drug watchdog warns.

Pentagon: 9/11 victims' remains went to landfill

Partial remains of some victims of the 11 September attacks ended up in landfill, a Pentagon report has found. Some unidentifiable remains from the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania field where a hijacked plane crashed in 2001 were given to a private contractor for disposal.

Michael Douglas tackles greed for F.B.I.

Michael Douglas, who played a greedy executive in the movie Wall Street, is the Federal Bureau of Investigation's new spokesman against insider trading. In the movie, he played the character Gordon Gekko who famously boasted that "greed is good." For critics the phrase came to embody the excesses of the Wall Street boom years and subsequent problems. However, in his new role Douglas is warning executives against following his on-screen credo. "The movie was fiction, but the problem is real," he said.

Lawyers Look to Canada For Shareholder Litigation

Unfavorable court rulings and legislation have helped damp filings of securities class-action lawsuits in the U.S., but these suits are starting to gain traction in Canada, prompting some U.S. lawyers to increasingly look for opportunities up north.

Wikileaks publishes confidential emails from Stratfor

Whistleblowing website Wikileaks has begun publishing the first of more than five million confidential emails from US-based security think tank Stratfor. The group said the documents would reveal Stratfor's "web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods". The firm warned ahead of the Wikileaks publication that it would make no comment on whether any of the emails were authentic or inaccurate.

  • Daily Press Review

Romney scores double US primary win
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Iran angry at Hamas abandoning Al-Assad
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Yemen's Hadi takes oath, replaces Saleh
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Mitt Romney wins Arizona, Michigan primaries
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

'Security situation worst since end of Cold War'
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Compassion 'key' to elderly care
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Romney scores double-punch
CNN International, London, England

Broadcasters face copyright row
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Future of the euro again thrown into doubt after Irish announce referendum on new EU cash rules
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Davina McCall completes 26-mile row across English Channel with a 'delirious' John Bishop
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Prokhorov's rich bid for Russia's top job
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

SYRIA: Syria civilian death toll 'well over' 7500, says UN
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Forbes names the richest person in Turkey
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Liner all at sea for at least one more night after detour
Independent The, London, England

Tax increases in the pipeline
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Exclusive: Lawyers order Parliament to stop publishing super-injunction document
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Pippa Middleton and her brother to compete in charity ski race
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

SET rises 10.75 points midday
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Gov't holds urgent talks over Elpida bankruptcy
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Where Have All the Protestors Gone?
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Amnesty urges China not to return N Korea refugees
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Suspected honour killing in Bhiwani
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

DPJ's broken promise to the disabled
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

US school shooter chose victims at random
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Grounded ship officers admit charges in New Zealand court
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

World's oldest nuclear plant shuts in Britain after 44 years
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

'Chopper' app does Apple
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Boeing said first 747-8 Intercontinental to complete flight tests soon
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Sri Lanka C. bank: Will act to curb rupee volatility
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Romney wins Michigan, Arizona primaries
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Video: Dual victories for Romney
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

IBM Lays Off Over 1000 Jobs in U.S. and Canada
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Dow, S&P hit milestones on confidence, lower oil
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Iran: two worlds meet, over tea
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Mitt Romney wins big in Michigan, Arizona
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Wade accepts Senegal poll run-off
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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